March 7, 2015 Maria Smith

Making our numbers count

In 2010, the 3% Conference was started to increase the number of female creative directors in the business, because at the time, only 3% of CDs were women.

As a copywriter at M&C Saatchi LA, I’m proud to say that a third of our creative directors and 60% of the overall creative department are women. I believe that’s what Congress calls a majority.

That means that in any given creative meeting, there is 20% more estrogen than testosterone. That means that our opinions matter. A lot. And that means we are downright badass.

Working in a side of the business that has always been predominantly men, this is inspiring. Everyday, I get to collaborate with intelligent, innovative and hilarious women. I’m told that being a woman is a strength, instead of a weakness. And most importantly, I’m able to get an unobstructed view of my future as a creative director.

This is the first place I’ve worked like this, where finding another female creative to look up to or work with, isn’t like finding a needle in a haystack.

Are there still hurdles to get over? Of course. Sometimes, we’re called “girls.” And that’s not okay. Now and then, remnants of the “guys club” vibe try and creep up. As an industry, advertising has big strides to make. But no matter what, us women (not girls) are all standing here, strong, powerful and ready to make our mark.

I hope that in the near future, I can attend the 3% Conference myself. To show that things have changed here, and see how they’re changing elsewhere. To show that the creative ladies of M&C Saatchi LA really rock. And, once every last one of us gets promoted to Creative Director, we’ll be able to change the name of the conference altogether.